1. What is your name?
My name is Christen McCurdy.
2. Tell us something about you, your background, and what you've been up to lately?
I grew up in a small town in southwest Idaho and decided I wanted to be a writer when I was eight. In high school, I was a Rushmore-style dork who edited the school newspaper, acted in plays, took a lot of long walks by myself on the railroad tracks outside town, spent most weekend nights watching movies with my mother and got voted "Most Unusual." Then I went to college, at Oregon State University, and started writing for the school newspaper as well as E2. After college I held a couple of staff positions at small newspapers in rural parts of Oregon, and then decided to move to Portland. I've held a few non-writing jobs since then but have also enjoyed some modest successes as a freelancer – and more recently, I've been flirting with the idea of a non-writing vocation, especially in the area of health care. I currently volunteer twice a week at a social services agency and health clinic for homeless and low-income youth, freelance a bit, and for the first time in several years I'm working on a new fiction project that I'm quite excited about.
3. How did you discover Everything, and how did you become a noder?
One of the first friends I made in Corvallis was pukesick. We'd been friends for a few months when I acquired an iMac and he showed me this website. My initial curiosity about E2 was largely curiosity about my friend; I spent a little time lurking and reading his nodes, but eventually started reading the rest of the site. Finally, I sacked up and created an account.
4. What are your favorite writeups -- both your own and from other noders?
Oh, MAN. Some of my favorite stuff, of course, no longer exists on this site; I was, for instance, a champion of Butterfinger McFlurry from the very beginning, and it grieves me that I can't see yossarian's stuff anymore. While I'm engaged in the dickery that is discussing AWESOME STUFF YOU CANNOT ACCESS HERE ANYMORE, I'm just going to point out that I remember Asamoth AND actually copied one of his writeups into my notebook! And I still have that notebook! Don't worry, it would probably get nuked if it were properly restored! Much of the flavor and spirit and silliness of the early days is gone now, for better or for worse, but you can still see glimpses of it. The work of Interstellar Scrotum – and specifically, I like my cat – still tickles me after many rereadings.
I didn't really think of noding as "writing" at first – keep in mind that as an English lit student who was also writing two articles a week for the student daily, "writing" was that thing I was doing ALL THE TIME; E2 was a place to fuck around and converse. Several noders changed my perspective on that, and the evidence of that is that I still reread their stuff from time to time. junkpile's My Snuffleupagus smells like CK One. This does not disturb me. and In the real world, it is almost always women and not men who are waiting under windows are both frequent rereads, because I like to cry, apparently. Also, The New Revised Guide to Internet Funni is something I still often quote, link to, read out loud, because it turns out the world still needs those wisdoms badly. Oh! And everything by ToasterLeavings.
As for my own horn, WELL. I wrote a series of short stories about a mysterious and difficult young woman named Charlotte; these were fairly popular and I still get props for them from time to time. Secret: I used to hate those stories. I used to hate that character. But recently I began to embark on another fiction project and damned if the girl didn't end up making a cameo. I'm still quite proud of throwing sparks, growing dahlias and Declaration of War on Sobriety, both of which were posted somewhat late in my noding career. My favorite piece that I wrote when I was really, really active on E2 is probably She was a committed romantic and an anarcha-feminist. This was hard for her because it meant she couldn't blow up beautiful buildings.
5. What are your favorite and least favorite memories from E2's history?
Despite the fact that I'm so written-language-oriented I can't process instructions that are not written down, and also often dream in text, the E2 memories that mean the most to me now have to do with face-to-face interactions with other users of the site. Turns out I have a lizard brain after all. One memory that I particularly cherish is that of the nodeslam from the first Horace Phair. I had attended several gatherings at that point and had an OK time, but never really "gotten it" – either the sense of euphoria that so many others reported after attending these things, nor my own compulsion to continue to attend them. That night, seeing so many folks – some of whom I had met, most of whom I hadn't yet – in the flesh, presenting their words with their real damn voices and their real damn facial expressions – I think I finally did get it.
6. What keeps you coming back?
Like many folks Of My Vintage, I rarely log into E2 anymore, and then it's generally to check messages. Even that habit is a holdover from a time when messages on E2 seemed to be the easiest way to reach certain parties; now I have multiple means of contacting just about everybody from the site. But occasionally, I still get messages from people offering props (or better yet, suggested typo corrections, which I'm afraid I'm not capable of taking seriously) on writeups I posted several years ago. On Nov 13, in honor of E2's decaversary, I did log in and post several writeups that were 512 characters or less; that was a really fun exercise. I meant to honor my own decaversary (Feb 3) by logging in and posting some sort of maudlin stream-of-consciousness, but I never got around to that; I think I had a sinus infection that week, or something. Oh, and a few years ago a few friends and I decided to write a parody of the old-school aftermath writeups, following a Horace Phair. That was amusing. Maybe someday I'll post something here that's not a parody or reference to The Good Old Days of E2, but right now, I find myself pretty busy with other projects in other venues. That's OK.
7. What do you hope for E2's future?
I honestly have no idea. E2 the website lost its magic for me some time ago, but I should note that this was a great relief to me when it happened. Imagine a recovering addict discovering not only that the withdrawal symptoms have finally receded and that the drug no longer gets her high. That's what it was like to suddenly find myself bored with E2. Suddenly, I got all this WORK done.
That said, E2 was such a fun, compelling and challenging project when I was in the thick of it, and I don't really have the sense of it having the same hold on its current user base. I'm not sure what would change that, however.
8. What does E2 mean to you?
Generally, when I discuss E2 with people who haven't heard of and weren't involved with it, it's in the context of explaining how I met most of my current friends: "We were all part of this, sort of writing website. It was not dissimilar to Wikipedia in its format, but there was more emphasis on individual authorship. And also, you were allowed to post wanky poetry and fiction, and so I posted a lot of wanky poetry and fiction. Then we started having these parties for people who wrote for the site. We all thought it was sort of weird that we wanted to meet all these people from the Internet, but we did it, and then we started spending more time with each other than on the Internet."
9. Who are your favorite noders? Which ones do you miss the most?
I think I've kind of done this already. There are, of course, many names excluded. While there are writeups I wish I could still access here that have been deleted, and people I wish were still writing at length in a forum I could regularly access, I've kept in touch with pretty much everyone whose work or persona here had an impact on me; I have the luxury that I "miss" very few people. Except Interstellar Scrotum. DUDE. IF YOU'RE READING THIS. FACEBOOK ME. WINK!
10. Who would play you in the Everything2 movie?
There was a GTKY node to this effect many years ago and I think I said Drew Barrymore. Others have, more recently suggested Tina Fey. However, both of them are a bit older than me. I think Natasha Lyonne could pull it off provided she got off the horse.
11. Please fill in the blank: "E2 is to the Internet as ___ is to the world."
Uhhh...I don't know? Crystal methamphetamine? Or maybe Crystal Light!
Or maybe E2 is like a hot summer day, when my cat wants to cuddle for reasons that are inexplicable given that it's like 97 degrees outside and humid as fuck (for the Northwest, anyway), and not only am I too overheated to be interested in any kind of inter-mammalian contact, I'm sticky with sweat, and he's shedding, and now I'm all covered with goddamn cat hair. Yes, that is E2. E2 is that special feeling right between "Awww maaaaan, you're so fucking sweet and adorable!" and "If you don't get out of my face RIGHT NOW, I'm going to lock you in the basement for the rest of the goddamn day. Actually. Is the pound open?"
12. Any questions that I didn't ask that I should've?
Hmmmm. I suppose it's wise of you not to solicit embarrassing real-life anecdotes that involve other noders, but... but I HAVE SO MANY. Surely the world wants to hear about the time I blacked out at a pub in Astoria, Queens, and then discovered the next day that my wallet was missing? Or the time ouroboros came home to discover me prostrate on the dining room floor after having drunk an entire box of wine? Or the time enth ordered a Long Island Iced Tea and...well. OK, fine. I'll just go do something adult and responsible then.
Everything2 Decaversary Interviews
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